Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, announced he is retiring at the end of his term next year.
On Twitter, Heck said he is announcing his “retirement from a career in public service that began over forty years ago. I wrote a brief note of thanks, explanation, and remembrance.”
Heck was one of several Democratic lawmakers who questioned witnesses during the public phase of the impeachment inquiry in November.
“With the bulk of the Intelligence Committee’s work on impeachment behind us, Thanksgiving week provided me with a good opportunity for rest and reflection. I thought a lot about the privilege it is to serve the people of the 10th Congressional District and to be one of only approximately 12,000 people in our Republic’s history to serve in the US House. This is important work and there are many parts to the job I deeply love,” he wrote on Medium.
In his letter, he denounced the fact that “success seems to be measured by how many Twitter followers one has which are largely gained by saying increasingly outrageous things, the more personal the better. There are simply too many hyperbolic adjectives and too few nouns. Civility is out. Compromise is out. All or nothing is in.”
Today, I announce my retirement from a career in public service that began over forty years ago. I wrote a brief note of thanks, explanation and remembrance. I hope you’ll take a minute to read it. https://t.co/85W8cRooKE
— Denny Heck (@RepDennyHeck) December 4, 2019
He added, “None of this discouragement in any way diminishes the bone-deep gratitude I feel for the privilege to serve in Congress and for all who have made this incredible journey possible—my family, the voters of the 10th District, my staff and all the countless people who have extended a thousand kindnesses along the way. So, unless it hasn’t been clear enough: Thank you! But it is time for me to retire.”
Heck was elected to represent Washington’s 10th District, which includes Olympia, in 2012. Before that, he served in the Washington state House. He was also a former CEO and broadcaster on TVW, the state’s version of C-SPAN. He was also a chief of staff to former Washington Gov. Booth Gardner.
The 10th District will likely stay in Democratic hands in 2020 as Hillary Clinton carried the district by 11 points. Heck won reelection in 2018 by 23 points, according to Roll Call.
Six Democrats, including Heck, have announced plans to leave Congress in 2020, the Washington Times reported.